Up to date, this journal has remained open to the public. Why? Because well, I feel like it? There isn't anything in here worth plagiarizing, and I'm not timid or shy or embarrassed by anything in here.
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“it’s all your fault,” changmin spits, venom heavy in his voice as he stares at jaejoong.
the shorter man looks at him forlornly, but there’s a lack of regret, of remorse, that picks at changmin like a rose’s thorn.
changmin slaps him, hard, and wonders if jaejoong’s cheek hurt as much as his own palm. the backs of his eye lids sting.
“you just had to get greedy,” it’s a pointed accusation, and it’s all really unfair, but changmin needs someone to blame. “you had to take, and take, and take, and now what?”
jaejoong frowns and closes distance between them, arms open, and crushes the younger man to his chest.
“you took everything. there’s nothing left now, there’s nothing left…” his voice trails off as he gives in, body melting against jaejoong’s. he doesn’t cry, stopped doing that a long time ago. back when he stopped being his age, when he had to grow up because that was what was expected of him.
“now what?” changmin demands, hands fisting in jaejoong’s shirt to push himself back enough to look at him. jaejoong has that look on his face, that one where changmin curses his education, stuck up professors and never-ending texts, because he knows nothing. “what are we supposed to do now?” he feels young, so very young. he’s forgotten that he is.
they walk in as one and leave as five.
it’s not lee sooman that speaks to them, it’s some unnamed executive that has nothing better to do. he goes on and on about how they’ve made history, not only within the company, but around the world. they are nice words, albeit a bit detached, but nice all the same.
yunho’s the only one who answers, gives thanks, wishes the best for the company. and then they leave the conference room for the last time.
they bump into people on the way out. the taller boy from shinee—choi minho, bows deeply to them and gives them a few deep, heartfelt words. two girls from so nyuh shi dae, yoona and sooyoung, also say their goodbyes.
half of super junior is entering the building as they are exiting. it’s an explosion of yells and shouts and hugs and clasps on the shoulder. it doesn’t last long, suju has work to do. junsu tries not to feel envious, hateful.
they walk away, the sm building shrinking behind them as they depart. no one looks back.
it’s just as hard as changmin had thought it would be—if not harder. there are subtle hints everywhere, reminders of what used to be; magazines in convenient stores, songs on the radios, sobbing fans that follow him like his shadow.
there is one instant where changmin thinks he might loose it. there’s a particularly passionate fan that spots him and yunho leaving a ramen shop. she bounds over to them, losing a shoe and her purse somewhere along the way. she was probably in her last year of middle school, or just starting high school, and she is dropping to her knees before they can even blink, her knees scraping against the pavement.
her begging is incoherent, choked up and so fucking painful, changmin can feel it in his bones like broken glass.
yunho pulls her up off the ground and wipes her knees down. he tells her it’ll all be alright, thanks her for always believing, for always keeping the faith, gives her a kiss on the forehead, and pulls changmin away, as far away as he can
they get to changmin’s apartment, a small, cramped place and yunho makes them tea. (maybe, he had thought, if it was small enough he wouldn’t feel the emptiness.) changmin’s living room is tiny and bleeds into the kitchen; his couch is more of an undersized loveseat, but they sit squished together anyway, looking out the window at
junsu takes it the worst.
they are at junsu’s parents’ house, sprawled on the floor in front of their huge television. ps3 controllers are in hand, and their thumbs are fast at work, jamming at the joysticks.
it’s kinda like old times, when they were all together, jaejoong in the kitchen, yunho at a meeting, yoochun in the work room—
“and that would be another win for me,” junsu says, triumphant. “what is that? five gazillion versus two?”
changmin huffs. “gazillion isn’t even a real number.”
“whatever.” the youngest growls, abandoning his controller and hoping on the couch. “let’s watch a movie instead. you should go get popcorn.”
junsu laughs, getting up and ruffling changmin’s hair on his way into the kitchen. “i don’t think there’s enough popcorn to feed you.”
changmin grabs the remote and starts flipping channels, shifting on the couch and crossing his legs. “then get some nachos while you’re at it.”
junsu ‘haw haw’s at him and changmin smiles, stopping on mtv when he catches the ending of boa’s no. 1 video. it’s oldies, a rewind in time to when kpop was talent and not looks or scandals.
it’s unexpected, it’s jaejoong in white with a white background, white, white noise. it’s a really simple tune, minus the acapella-esque adlibs and some parts that were a bit over sung, but it was a hit, their first. back when they were raw and unharmonized, misshaped pieces of a jigsaw pushed together until they were made to fit (only to be later torn apart).
the big plastic bowl hits the hardwood floor with a cry and popcorn and kernels dance across the floorboards. junsu’s breath is caught in his throat and changmin doesn’t think he’s ever seen junsu in so much pain, like his heart was ripped out of his chest and stomped on, and then shoved back inside, broken, sharp edges tearing him apart from the inside out. changmin thinks he knows the feeling.
but it’s no use, there are tears in his eyes and he’s apologizing before changmin can turn the channel, junsu’s on his knees, cleaning up popcorn. his shoulders are shaking and even though his head is hung low and his bangs cover his face, it’s devastatingly obvious that he’s crying.
changmin feels awkward, not good at all that comforting business, but he moves towards junsu anyway, hugging him to his side. and for the first time in a long time, changmin sobs.
changmin thought yoochun would be the first to bolt, always the most emotional, on the earliest flight back to america, the land where dreams come true. changmin used to think it was a weakness, men shouldn’t cry as much as yoochun does, shouldn’t be as sentimental. he knows better now. knows that what he used to think was strength, the ability to bottle stuff up, keep it so locked inside that you can’t even access it if you wanted to, was in reality an achilles' heel—because one can only take so much before exploding. and those cases are always the worst, years and years of pent up emotion, all coming up to the surface at once. it was overwhelming. yes, now changmin knows.
they sit at the piano together, yoochun is playing some messy melody that changmin deftly hums along to. it doesn’t matter that they’re out of synch, mute, because their voices are lost, gone, taken.
“do you miss it, minnie mouse?” changmin doesn’t see it coming, doesn’t see anything coming these days.
he mulls it over, almost settles on not answering. it would be a lie to say he didn’t. didn’t miss the fans and the traveling and the recording and the adrenaline and the spotlight, the fame.
so he settles on, “sometimes,” and when yoochun doesn’t reply he continues, “sometimes i dream about it, those mornings are always the worst.”
he turns to smile at the older man, and yoochun returns the gesture, wholeheartedly, like he always does. “we were good, weren’t we?”
yoochun laughs, the sound clear because jaejoong finally persuaded him to stop smoking (better late than never). “yeah, we owned the world.”